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Columbus Diocese To Introduce New Bishop On Thursday

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The Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, has been named the 12th Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Columbus on Thursday.

Rev. Robert Brennan will take over for Rev. Frederick Campbell, who became Bishop in 2004. The Columbus diocese recently accepted Campbell's resignation, which bishops are required to submit once reaching the age of 75.

"I thank all the clergy and faithful that I have had the pleasure to lead during my tenure here in Columbus,” Campbell said in a diocese statement Thursday.  "I am sure the people of our Diocese will welcome Bishop Brennan to Central Ohio and extend to him all of the courtesies and prayerful support I have enjoyed."

The diocese says Brennen, 56, was born in the Bronx, New York and raised in Lindenhurst, New York. He attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School and Saint John the Baptist Diocesan High School, and earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science from Saint John’s University.

Brennan’s appointment comes several months after the diocese announced it will release a list of clergy members accused of sexual abuse. It has not yet done so.

"I think the first order of business is to work closely with law enforcement," Brennan said in a press conference Thursday morning.

Several other diocese around Ohio, including Cleveland, Youngstown and Steubnville, have all released their own lists of accused clergy. Brennan and Campbell both say the process should take time.

"It gets to be a complicated matter," Brennan said. "If you’re going to release lists of names like that you have to be very accurate and you have to be very careful."

Brennan studied for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception and was ordained a priest in 1989.  The diocese says Brennan speaks Spanish, works closely with the Latino community, and often celebrates Mass in Spanish.

“It makes me incredible happy to walk this journey with you, to lead the Church of Columbus, to serve as your Pastor,” Brennan said in the diocese statement.  “I look forward to walking the journey with you as your pastor sharing the ‘Joy of the Gospel’ and the ‘Splendor of Truth.’ And if we can laugh, and sing, and raise our voices in praise of God along the way, then all the better."

The diocese says the formal installation of Brennan as Bishop of Columbus is scheduled for March 29 at St. Joseph Cathedral. In the interim, Campbell will serve as apostolic administrator of the Diocese until the official transfer of authority to Brennan.

"I am already praying fervently for the Church of Columbus every day," Brennan continued in his statement. "May I humbly ask your prayers for me.”

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.